Do you want to encourage your children to spend more time outside and less on electronic devices? New reports indicate the number of kids playing in the wild has more than halved in a generation. We have searched for different, outdoorsy attractions for families to visit around the UK and we think these following locations are worth visiting on your weekend family trips:
With an impressive 10 award-winning museums, from a china museum to a recreated traditional Victorian town, Ironbridge Gorge is a must-see for a fun and educational weekend trip with the kids. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. It also marks 300 years since the passing of the person thought to have started the industrial revolution, Abraham Darby.
The new adventure park opened to the public this spring. It offers an indoor zone with children’s play area, tunnels, bridges and even climbing nets. Outside, you will find trees, discovery zones, a water play if the weather is nice and lair making resources. Rest assured though, the designers of William’s den have created plenty of areas for adults to relax as well, such as a café that sells homemade food- yum! Combine the trip with the close by North Cave Wetlands nature reserve for a weekend filled with outdoor fun.
Wales remains the crown jewel of outdoor attractions. A new wakeboarding park opened this spring near Narberth in west Wales, merely a year after the launch of Surf Snowdonia. This park offers fun for the whole family and it gives you the chance to try the sport. If you’re already a pro, you’ll be glad to know they also have ramps and rails for professional riders. If the weather is nice, you can even go for a swim or try stand-up paddle (they provide suits).
This is a new concept ride, found only in a few other European destinations and it’s extremely fun for the whole family. Imagine a roller coaster but in nature. Daredevils who try the ride will sit on a small sledge that goes down through the forest on rails.
The third and largest centre of its’ kind has opened its’ gates to tourists this spring. Forest playground company Treetop Trek opened in Manchester’s Heaton Park, following on from developments in North Yorkshire and the Lake District. The Manchester branch offers giant trampolines, and over 20 zip wires, so you and your little ones will be in for a very fun and exciting day outdoors!
The Heritage Lottery Fund has helped New Forest develop the first permanent wild play site – the Holbury Manor Park and Warren Copse. The playing site inspires the little ones to discover and interact with the environment through fun activities such as den building and following animal tracks.
For a fun day out with the children, why not visit the Underwater World at Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight? The Subaquatic Kingdom has plenty of animatronic creatures, underwater caves and a “shipwreck” as well. There are rides and slides for children, and they host special events throughout the year. Some of the theme areas are Cowboy Town and Pirate Cove.
The Sill is home to UK’s first landscape discovery centre. The new facility has an environmentally friendly main building, with a green roof, educational facilities, play areas for children and exhibition rooms. Its’ purpose is to encourage more people to explore Northumberland. It’s especially focused on those less inclined or confident on exploring the wilderness, with taster days and activities for the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Take your family on an exploratory adventure!
Another fantastic place to take the kids on a weekend break is Betteshanger Park in Kent. It is a massive activity park near Deal with a £8 million visitor centre. The park has over 1 square kilometre and has bicycle paths, mountain bike trails as well as an outdoor play park. You can also try your hand at archery. To encourage kids to play outside, they also have fossil hunting and den building activities. Combine the adventure-filled day with an educational trip to the Mining Museum or at the Green Energy Centre.